Self-Care for Students During the Labour Disruption

Posted by York & U on April 10, 2018

A YU Perspective | Goings-On around York | York & U

As the labour disruption continues, York University is mindful of its impact on students. During this time, it is especially important for you to be aware of your mental health and wellness and practice self-care. The #YUBlog has compiled a few self-care tips and mental health and wellness resources below to help you get started.

If you are in a crisis, you should immediately call 911 and access the following crisis services:

For Student Counselling & Development at York University, call 416-736-5297 or go to N110, Bennett Centre for Student Services. Students can also access the 24/7/365 Good2Talk Ontario Post-Secondary Student Helpline at 1-866-925-5454.

If you or someone you know within the York U community requires mental health and wellness support services, consult the Mental Health & Wellness at York (MHW) website.

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Getting out and about for a walk or a run isn’t just a way to exercise—it’s a way to explore the city!

1. Stay active

If you are experiencing higher than normal stress levels or find it difficult to give yourself a break from studying, exercising can help you decompress. Exercise releases endorphins in your body that make you feel happier and more relaxed. Tait McKenzie, York U’s fitness centre, offers drop-in classes every week, including spin, cardio and super circuit. All you need is a student membership which costs $15 per year. Consider bringing a friend along, or visit Tait McKenzie on your own to access cardio machines, a swimming pool, free weights and training equipment!

Don’t feel like hitting the gym? Ask a friend to go for a walk around campus, or try meditation, stretching exercises or yoga! York U Athletics & Recreation offer yoga classes as well as a range of intramural sports teams! You can also find a lot of free exercise videos on YouTube, so trying a new activity doesn’t need to break the bank.

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Staying hydrated is a great way to keep your immune system strong!

2. Focus on Health

During a difficult time, taking care of your health is more important than ever. Make sure you’re eating well, staying hydrated and getting a good night’s sleep to keep your immune system strong. If you’re looking for some easy, healthy recipes to prepare on a student budget, take a look at our previous #YUBlog post, “The Best Quick, Easy Snacks for the School Year“.

Health Education & Promotion

If you would like health advice from a professional, contact a Health Educator from the Health Education & Promotion team! The Health Educator can answer questions or help you find appropriate resources. All services are entirely confidential. To meet with a Health Educator, please visit the Health Education & Promotion Contact Us page to submit a request. A professional Health Educator will respond to your message within 2-3 business days.

Students can also visit the Health Education & Promotion team on Wellness Wednesdays each week to learn about different health and wellness topics and win prizes! Wellness Wednesdays are held in Vari Hall from 10am to 2pm.


You may want to use the WellTrack mental health management app. WellTrack users can track their daily mental health and access resources such as education courses, including Computerized Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CCBT) and relaxation tools. The app also includes thought diaries, activity schedulers and progressive muscle relaxation exercises.

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Consider using the WellTrack app to help manage your mental health and wellness.

3. Talk About It

If you are experiencing stress, remember that you are not alone. Student Counselling & Development provides a professional and supportive environment in which you can discuss any challenges you may be having during the labour disruption. Students can come to the reception area in N110, Bennett Centre for Student Services or call 416-736-5297 to book a confidential individual counselling appointment.

In addition, Student Counselling & Development continues to offer group workshops— see the SCD events calendar for a list of times and workshops being offered.

In addition to the resources above, talk to your family and friends about the feelings you’re experiencing, or share your concerns with your fellow students. Sometimes the simple act of talking with your loved ones will make you feel relieved and comforted.

Multilingual Distress Lines

If you would feel more comfortable talking to someone in a language other than English, the Multilingual Distress Lines can help. They’re open Monday to Friday, 10am to 10pm. This service is offered through Spectra Community Support Services.

Mandarin & Cantonese: 416-920-0497
Hindi, Urdu & Punjabi: 905-459-7777 ext. 2
Spanish: 905-459-7777 ext. 3
Portuguese: 905-459-7777 ext. 4

4. Utilize Academic Resources

If you would like some extra assistance with exams and assignments, consider utilizing the resources offered by Learning Skills Services. Learning Skills Services offers drop-in services at the Learning Skills Pod in Scott Library on Tuesdays from 11am-1pm and Wednesdays from 12:30pm-2:30pm. Students can drop in for a 10- to 15-minute session with a Learning Skills Specialist to discuss a learning skills or study-related question. Consultations are first-come, first-served.

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Consider utilizing Learning Skills Services to prepare for your final exams and assignments.

Students can schedule an individual Peer Academic Coaching appointment with a Learning Skills Peer. During these 30-minute sessions, students can discuss learning skills-related strategies designed to support academic success. Peer Academic Coaching appointments are available on Tuesdays from 1:30pm to 3pm and on Wednesdays from 10:30am to 12pm. Peer Academic Coaching sessions are available by appointment only. Please visit the How to Book An Individual Learning Skills Appointment webpage to book an appointment.

Learn More

Remember, Lions, York U is committed to supporting your health and wellbeing. If you need support or want to spread the word about resources on campus, take a look at our previous post “A Guide to Mental Health and Wellness Resources at York U”. If you have self-care and wellness tips that you want to share, comment below or tweet us @YorkUStudents!

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